I am not ashamed to admit I like the harp.
August 22, 2009 8:11 PM   Subscribe

Hit me with your best harp music!

I have always enjoyed harp music. I just realized I have no harp music in my collection. This is unacceptable! It is my favorite. Please recommend some really awesome harp songs. Youtube links only please. Thank you.
posted by water bear to Media & Arts (13 answers total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
Alice Coltrane was an eastern influenced jazz harpist - her song "Journey To Satchidananda" is the most awesome harp song I know. And one of the most awesome songs ever. (google video as the song wasn't on youtube)
posted by extrabox at 8:30 PM on August 22, 2009 [1 favorite]

That rascally Handel fella had a very nice one.
posted by fish tick at 8:50 PM on August 22, 2009

Joanna Newsom is a lovely harpist with a distinctive voice. Videos: "Sprout and the Bean," "Bridges and Balloons," "Clam, Crab, Cockle, Cowrie."
posted by pmdboi at 9:29 PM on August 22, 2009 [1 favorite]

A lot of Clannad's older works have harp in them, before they became more pop than celtic. Maire Brennan also had a solo album, which had the song Ce Leis on it.

Loreena McKennitt's first few albums had some good harp on them (1991 and earlier.) Not many are harp-only works though. Some that have nice harp parts are Cymbeline, Courtyard Lullaby and Between the Shadows (The Visit), as well as The Lark in the Clear Air (nice cello as well),

David Michael has an album called 'Heart of the Harp' that you might want to check out. The last song, Methow Reverie, is a beautiful duet with Rick Henderson.

And there are even a few well played pieces up on the You-shaped Tube that might lead you to something you fancy.

One song that always sounds wonderful in harp is Claude Debussy's "Arabesque".
posted by Hardcore Poser at 9:30 PM on August 22, 2009

Carol Tatum, who records under the name Angels of Venice, is a really talented harpist with close ties to the ethereal/gothic scene. She's done everything from Medieval and classical music to world music to Beatles and Metallica covers.
posted by infinitywaltz at 10:06 PM on August 22, 2009

Deborah Henson Conant isn't everyone's cup o' tea, but she's made a living playing harp since the late '80s, in a cold, hard world.
posted by paulsc at 12:23 AM on August 23, 2009

Baby Dee accompanies herself 50-50 on piano and harp. Like Joanna Newsome, she has a love-it-or-hate-it voice and songwriting style.
posted by K.P. at 1:25 AM on August 23, 2009

The Chieftains have a nice Celtic harp album, here's a track with the Belfast Harp Orchestra.

Joanna Newsom and Loreena McKennitt are great too.
posted by Kirjava at 4:04 AM on August 23, 2009

Also, Turlough O'Carolan, a 17th century Irish harpist composed some beautiful harp music, for example Carolan's Concerto.
posted by Kirjava at 4:19 AM on August 23, 2009

Patrick Ball is wonderful, and does a great one man show about O'Carolan.
posted by beowulf573 at 9:14 AM on August 23, 2009

Definitely check out jazz harpist Dorothy Ashby, who did some amazing work in the 50s and 60s. Here's a YouTube clip of a song available on this very cool CD, which combines two great albums she put out in 1958. More YouTube clips. She got funkier later on (and has been sampled by different hiphop folks); click through the four-star records in her Allmusic discography for details.

And Journey in Satchidananda really is one of the great records of all time, period. With lots of harp.
posted by mediareport at 10:21 PM on August 23, 2009

Joanna Newsom is a lovely harpist with a distinctive voice. Videos: "Sprout and the Bean," "Bridges and Balloons," "Clam, Crab, Cockle, Cowrie."

Some of her music is simply enchanting. A few more links: Esame (live) - Porto Alegre, Emily [pt 1] (11.16.06), Emily [pt 2] (11.16.06)
posted by lmm at 12:04 AM on August 24, 2009

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